In Washington, a party does not have to actually file a complaint in Superior Court to start a lawsuit and trigger the time period within which the defendant must respond.[1]  Instead, a party can commence a lawsuit by serving a complaint and summons on the defendant.[2]  This process is commonly called “pocket service.”  It is different from the procedure in federal court and most state courts, where a party must file a complaint in court to ...


We are pleased to announce that Savitt Bruce & Willey LLP has again been recognized by U.S News & World Report as a “Best Law Firm” both nationally and regionally in multiple practice areas. The firm’s Intellectual Property Litigation practice was again ranked as a top firm nationally. And SBW was recognized once again as a “Tier 1” top firm in the Seattle metro area in each of Commercial Litigation, Intellectual Property Litigation and Real Estate Litigation. Thank you to our ...


We are pleased to announce that James Herr has joined SBW as an associate. James brings his passion, creativity and significant trial experience to our firm and the representation of our clients.  Before joining Savitt Bruce & Willey, James handled civil rights litigation and criminal cases at the Mazzone Law firm and the Snohomish County Public Defenders, where he tried more than a dozen jury cases to verdict. James previously interned for the Honorable Robert Cleland of the U.S. District Court for ...


We are pleased to announce the promotion of Sarah Gohmann Bigelow and Brandi B. Balanda to Of Counsel with our firm. Sarah has been providing excellent service to our clients since 2011.  Her practice focuses on business tort, intellectual property, class action, and securities claims across multiple industries. Sarah has successfully represented technology startups and their founders in trade secret and fiduciary duty cases, and has extensive experience in actions involving claims and issues under the ’33 and ’34 federal securities ...


The core mission of Best Lawyers is to highlight top legal talent in America. Lawyers listed to The Best Lawyers in America are divided by geographic region and practice areas. Recognition is based entirely on peer review concerning professional expertise in particular areas, through a confidential evaluation and voting process. We congratulate five of our partners on their selection to the 2021 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America. David Bruce, Duncan Manville, James Savitt, Stephen Willey, and Miles Yanick have again been ...


In a prior post, this blog explored a range of defenses to contract claims brought in the wake of nonperformance caused by the ongoing novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.  This post examines one such defense in detail—the force majeure defense—and how the unique circumstances of the pandemic may impact attempts to assert or defeat such a defense. So-called “force majeure” clauses are commonplace in business contracts.  A typical force-majeure clause has three main features: (1) a list of enumerated events, (2) ...


SBW Lawyers recognized by Super Lawyers

We are proud that all our firm's partners -- David Bruce, James Savitt, Michele Stephen, Stephen Willey, Miles Yanick, and Duncan Manville have been voted to the 2020 Super Lawyers list, including two to the list of the 2020 Top 100 Washington Super Lawyers.  We also congratulate Duffy Graham, named again to Washington Super Lawyer, and to Brandi Balanda and Jacob Freeman, named to Washington Rising Stars.


Court systems across the country are on indefinite hold.  The U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington has continued all in-person civil and criminal proceedings scheduled to occur before August 3, 2020 pending further order of the Court.[1]  In Washington state courts, all civil and criminal jury trials are suspended until at least July 6, 2020.[2]  The King County Superior Court plans – tentatively – to resume jury trials in sometime in July. Although much ...


Forty years ago, on May 18, 1980, Washington’s once-conical Mount St. Helens erupted, killing approximately 57 people, and causing millions, if not billions, in damages.  Writers in both the Seattle Times[1] and the New York Times[2] recently have argued that tensions between science, politics, and economics that came to the fore with the Mount St. Helens eruption teach something pertinent to the policy-making challenges presented by a pandemic. That may be true, but it is above our ...


Virtually all businesses, and not least the professional sports leagues, are looking to cut costs in the era of coronavirus.  Major League Baseball has decided to cut its 2020 draft of amateur players, usually either high school seniors or college juniors, from 40 rounds to 5.  See https://www.cbssports.com/mlb/news/mlb-agrees-to-reduce-2020-draft-to-five-rounds-with-unlimited-undrafted-signings-for-20k-reports-say/. Eliminating part or all of Baseball’s amateur draft is one thing, even if this results in economic harm to the potential draftees.  E.g. https://theathletic.com/1804221/2020/05/09/law-how-the-five-round-draft-hurts-players-and-pro-baseball-as-a-whole/.  It is another thing altogether for baseball ...